Chinese Zodiac 十二生肖

You may know that there is a  year cycle of Chinese year. It is related to Chinese Zodiac or 12 Zodiac animals.  The animals in the year order are Rat 鼠, Ox 牛, Tiger 虎, Hare 兔, Dragon 龍, Snake 蛇, Horse 馬, Goat 羊, Monkey 猴, Rooster 雞, Dog 狗 and Boar 豬.  After finishing one cycle, the next year will start another cycle.  This year (2018) is “Dog” year.  Next year (2019) is “”Boar” year and the year of  2020 will return to “Rat”.

I found a video “Story of the Chinese Zodiac” on YouTube .  If you are interested in it, you can click in and take a look.

Continue reading “Chinese Zodiac 十二生肖”

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Questions 問題

Question plays a very important role in our languages, for it can introduce two-way communication between people.  If language is only in one way like radio broadcasting, we will not have a real communication at all.  It can also stimulate people thinking.  Every knowledge is built and accumulated by asking a series of questions.  For new language learners, if you know how to ask, you will not only learn the language faster, but also you can get into the depth of culture.

In the following video, I will teach you the most basic question word “What” (乜嘢) and then you will know how to ask “Time” and “Date”. Continue reading “Questions 問題”

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Tenses 時態

Some people say that there is no concept of tenses in the language of Chinese/Cantonese.  I think it depends on how you define the term of “tenses”.  If you insist the writing way (spelling) and pronunciation of a verb should be changed in different tenses like English, there is really no such thing in the language of Chinese/Cantonese.

Tenses - sandglass 沙漏

Time is slipping away like a sandglass.  Continue reading “Tenses 時態”

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Wet Market 街市

Wet market is one of the attractive to the foreigners.  They may be very interested in how people kill chicken, how to cut pork and beef into pieces (so bloody…).  For us, it is our food centre.  We can shop fresh foods there.  Before buying, we always look around to check which shop’s food is cheaper and fresher.  Sometimes we can even ask for cheaper.

Nowadays, there are many supermarkets in Hong Kong.  Maybe some days later, supermarkets will totally replace wet markets.  I hope I will not see of it in the rest of my life.  I love wet market! Continue reading “Wet Market 街市”

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Yum Cha 飲茶

Yum Cha (飲茶 jam2 caa4) is a traditional Cantonese culture.  In the old days, people got up and would go to Cantonese restaurant 茶樓, having their breakfasts (we call it 飲早茶 – drink morning tea).  Surely 飲茶 is not only drinking tea, but also have (Cantonese 廣東) dim sum 點心.  Nowadays, we have more choices for breakfast (e.g. McDonalds) in Hong Kong.  However, 飲茶 is still a good option for the people who want to be relaxed. Continue reading “Yum Cha 飲茶”

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Cantonese “Nine” Tones 廣東話九聲調

The most common used Cantonese pronunciation system is jyutping 粵語拼音, for it does not only give you the sound, but also give the tone.  In tonal languages, different tones of a sound can make a great difference of meaning.  For example, 媽 (maa1) and 嫲 (maa4) mean mother and grandmother respectively.  If you can’t speak it in right tone, it will become a joke!  There is a shortcut to master the “Nine Tones”.  You can practice the numbers (3-9-4-0-5-2-7-8-6).  The sequence the above order is exactly from Tone 1 to Tone 9.   Try it and you will get the feeling.

* when we say 媽媽 (mother) in Cantonese, we sometimes pronounce it maa4 maa1. Continue reading “Cantonese “Nine” Tones 廣東話九聲調”

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Chinese Characters (Numbers 數字)

When learning a new language, we probably learn the numbers first, for we can actually use the numbers when we go shopping.  For Cantonese, we have another important reason to learn numbers first.  If we can speak the right tones of the numbers (3-9-4-0-5-2-7-8-6), we are probably able to master the “tone” system of Cantonese.

The following three videos are related to numbers in Cantonese.  Continue reading “Chinese Characters (Numbers 數字)”

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